Mana is believed to be crossed by Pandavas during their final journey to heaven. Having witnessed river Saraswathi glittering and making its way across the landscape, massive mountains splitting the clouds, tiny houses here and there at the foothills of these mountains, I wondered if this was the heaven the Pandavas were looking for.
The journey had many wonderful landscapes, a scary sight of a vehicle toppled, and stuck in the ridges, and few water sources flowing through the roads. Mana is just 3 km away from Badrinath and takes around 10 minutes’ drive to get there.
We had to take a lovely walk to Bheem pul which wasn’t much taxing though. The path traveled will always be etched in the memory lane for some majestic views which I couldn’t resist capturing.
We walk through farms, new constructions that were being built to accommodate tourists, shops for refreshments, viewpoints, and few shrines here and there. We do have a tea shop claiming to be the last Indian tea shop. The backdrop is breath-taking that you can sip a coffee and process all the visual treats you are entitled to. Capturing a slow-motion video of the free-flowing river and watching it is something I cherish. The below is the slow-motion video of Bheem pul which is the origin of the river Saraswathi.
We returned with as many memories we could carry. The cab driver was also very keen on showing a few temples on the way back. By the time we were returning to our hotel, the weather had changed completely, and felt like we were back in Chennai. To be honest, it felt good, to feel the sunshine.
Meantime unlike us, the cab driver wasn’t enjoying the sunshine and had to remove layers of sweaters to feel comfortable. He also mentioned that people here would love to get drenched, change clothes, and move on with their life rather than sulking in the warm weather. Wonder what they would do if they were to visit Chennai. Chennai is known for many good things, the weather isn’t one of them for sure.
We weren’t sure if we could catch the Auli cable as it was past noon. The cable covers a distance of 16 km and the journey is said to be visually stunning. We took the ride to Joshimath as our chances of getting a room overnight were high. We could have taken the route to Auli, but we had to calculate the time we would spend on purchasing the ticket, hoping on a 16 km cable car ride and then looking for a room to stay. I am not a great fan of booking accommodation on the fly. I usually plan well in advance as I will be pretty sure I have a roof to stay under. The uncertainty in overnight stay cost us a trip to Auli. But, on the brighter side, we found this wonderful place in Joshimath – The Tattva. We opted for a room online which cost around Rs.2500. We had lunch in Joshimath and headed to Tattva. The resort is located just near the bus stand and I wasn’t sure what to expect to be very honest. There were some rooms with exceptional viewpoints, as we kept crossing each one of them I was a bit let down. We were handed our room keys and boy this is what we saw.
The room was neat and the view was magical. This is one of the pros of booking things on the fly. You never know what we are in store for. We ordered some food and were ready to watch the second innings of the world cup semis (India vs New Zeland). The result shattered the hearts of millions. But I had something to cheer me up, the view from our room.
The next day we woke up as early as possible to catch a glimpse of first light. The dawn brought cool air and dense fog that the whole mountain was covered in a blanket of clouds.
Sometimes , this is all you need ..
Apart from all these the service at the hotel and the food was great. My patience to taste non-vegetarian food was being tested as this place only serves vegetarian food. I would reiterate to stick with North Indian dishes as certain south Indian dishes weren’t up to the mark.
We took a day off and rested for a while in this lovely place before we headed to Dehradun.